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Angela Brodie

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 21 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3557
  1. Chris Mahony
  1. chris.mahony{at}

Pharmacologist whose work on aromatase inhibitors transformed the treatment of breast cancer

Angela Brodie, whose work around aromatase inhibitors transformed the treatment of breast cancer two decades ago, continued her groundbreaking research until a few months before her death in June at the age of 82. The resulting treatment is regarded as one of the most important breakthroughs in the treatment of hormone related breast cancer.

The daughter of a Lancashire research chemist, Brodie was inspired to focus on improving breast cancer treatment options after seeing footage of radical mastectomies during her first research role at the Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester. “Very little was known about oestrogens and how they influenced breast cancer, and patients had to suffer really quite gruesome procedures that ended up being only partially effective or were effective for only a very short time. That impressed on me that better things could be done,” she was to say later.

She moved to the US having secured a fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health to train at the …

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